Utah Super Bowl ad was shocking and scary... on purpose

Utah Super Bowl ad was shocking and scary... on purpose (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - An ad that aired during the Super Bowl to viewers in Utah, used emotional, and realistic images to drive home the dangers of driving while distracted.

"It's shocking and difficult to watch by design," said John Gleason, Spokesman for UDOT, of the ad.

The Ad was produced by Zero Fatalities (a joint effort by the Utah Highway Patrol, Utah Department of Transportation and other state agencies).

The fictional story in the ad is told from the perspective of a girl, who dies in a crash.

"Let's make it clear. This is your fault. My family will never be the same after I'm gone," said the girl who is in the back seat of her family's car when a driver, who was texting, smashes into her side of the car.

"It was scary I guess because that can happen," said high school senior Brielle Frear.

Frear was seriously injured by a distracted driver the summer of 2016.

She suffered a serious brain injury and broken bones all over her body when a distracted driver hit her while she and a friend crossed a street in Taylorsville at a crosswalk.

She spent two months in the hospital and missed her entire junior year.

"I had to relearn walking, talking and had to re-learn people's names," she said.

Angela Frear, Brielle's mother said when she arrived at the hospital that day, she was given no assurances that her daughter would live because her brain was swelling.

Eventually, the swelling went down and Brielle recovered. Frear said she missed four months of work because she stayed home to tend to Brielle's needs during her recovery.

Frear said the ad is scary to watch but she hopes it gets drivers to keep their eyes on the roads.

"These accidents can be prevented," she said.

Gleason said that 20 Utahns died in 2017 in crashes caused by distracted drivers but distracted driving is under-reported and a behavior that is becoming more and more common.

He said there was one complaint about the ad being too disturbing to children. Mostly, the ad had positive feedback.

Lt. Todd Royce, of the Utah Highway Patrol, said he hopes the ad sends a message to adults and kids alike that driving while eating, changing radio stations, texting or calming your kids who are in the back seat, is dangerous.

He said just like children have been a big influence on their parents to buckle-up, the hope is that kids remind their parents to keep their eyes on the road.

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